BOCA RATON, Fl. – The UTEP softball team fell 7-2 to Rutgers on Sunday afternoon at FAU Softball Stadium.
The Scarlett Knights (11-11) scored six runs in the first inning to pull away early from the Miners (10-13).
UTEP connected on 10 hits, as Linda Garcia’s pinch-hit at bat in the fifth scored Ariel Blair to put the Miners on the board. Courtney Clayton then got the Miners within five runs after the senior hit her third home run of the season in the top seventh. Clayton now has 21 dingers in her career, ranking seventh and one behind Amber Bennett’s 22 long balls.
Blair finished 3-for-4, while Kacey Duffield (2-3) and Kaitlin Ryder (2-4) each produced a pair of hits. Duffield connected on her third double of the season during the sixth. Ilena Santos (second inning) and Lindsey Sokoloski (fifth) also singled.
The UTEP relief pitchers kept the Scarlet Knights’ bats in check. Devyn Cretz threw 2.0 frames, while tallying a pair of K’s and no walks. Allie Johnson tossed 2.0 innings, allowing no hits and striking out a batter, and Julia Wright pitched an inning with a K. The three hurlers allowed a combined one run and three hits.
The Miners loaded the bases in the fifth and crossed the dish, but couldn’t sustain more offense.
UTEP will open Conference USA action when it takes on Florida Atlantic on Monday, March 12 in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. MT/4 ET. The series finale between the Miners and Owls will be played on Tuesday at 10 a.m. MT/Noon ET.